Following a symbolic Wednesday night performance that found the Green Goblin dangling for several minutes as he and Spider-Man “mugged for the laughing crowd,” producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark have officially announced that the clown show has been put on hiatus for retooling—an unprecedented sixth delay to its official start date that has now been pushed to “early summer.” As reported yesterday, director Julie Taymor is no longer in charge, though she will ostensibly remain part of a new “creative team” under The Boy From Oz vet and former Barnum & Bailey circus director Phil McKinley, who is expected to have certain thrilling new concepts about how to “make the show eventually profitable.” But then, the New York Post says it’s really Bono who will “become the face” of the revised show, which should make you feel bad about trashing it once that face starts talking about all the starving children in Africa.
Naturally, the producers put a positive spin on Taymor’s reduced role, claiming that it was only her “previous commitments” that made it difficult for her to attend to the 24/7 schedule necessary to fix the show, while insisting that “her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so.” However, the New York Times says that it’s her unyielding commitment to that vision that led to her ouster, as within the past few weeks she repeatedly balked at letting anyone make changes to show, refused to meet writers and other outside counsel, rejected their suggestions for improvement, argued with cast members about their qualms with the story, and generally ignored all of the producers’ concerns about the direction the show was headed in. Well, of course: "Concerns" are just so many crosswinds on the precipice of a dead volcano, if you catch our drift.
While Taymor herself has yet to offer so much as a haiku on those accusations, her equally melodramatic friend Jeffrey Horowitz of New York’s Theater for a New Audience has been giving interviews on her behalf, telling the NYT, “This is like a mother being taken away from her family. She loves that family. She wants that family.” Won’t someone think of the high-heeled spider-children? Horowitz then lashed out at Taymor’s many critics in the Associated Press, saying, “She's distraught at how she's been labeled. They've said she's an artist only concerned with spectacle. I can tell you that all her visual ideas come from a deeply human idea of the story she is working on. And they say she's a `perfectionist'—well, what's wrong with being a perfectionist?" Alas, it now seems Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’s relentless pursuit of perfectionism is at an end.